The Limits of Inclusion: Representation of Minority and Non-Dominant Communities in Consociational and Liberal Democracies

  • Citation: Agarin, Timofey. “The Limits of Inclusion: Representation of Minority and Non-Dominant Communities in Consociational and Liberal Democracies.” International Political Science Review 41, no. 1 (January 2020): 15–29. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192512119881801.
    • Topics:
    • Global Development
    • Keywords:
    • consociationalism
    • liberal democracy
    • non-dominant communities
    • participation
    • representation.

Consociationalism starts with the assumption that in divided societies there are multiple groups with reasonable claims which leads to the development of group sensitive mechanisms for political representation. While consociations are put in place to ensure the participation of groups whose past disenfranchisement from (equal) political representation resulted in violence, their disregard for individuals and identities of other, non-dominant groups is comparable to the impact of liberal democratic governments on minority groups. Both the approach observed in consociational practice and the liberal democratic approach of accommodating members of minority groups result from a preference for the political accommodation of majority group identities. Both approaches, I argue, result in the neglect of the input of minority and non-dominant groups. This effect is, principally, a result of the lack of guaranteed representation afforded to their group identities and is exacerbated by the representation of majority interests which is aggregated from individual-level participation.

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